With Love and Rage: A Friendship with Iris Murdoch


This memoir is both David Morgan’s final farewell to Iris Murdoch and his loving preservation of her memory. They met while he was studying at the Royal College of Art in London in the 1960s when, he says, something clicked. It was an unlikely alliance: he was a rebel from Birmingham who had been hospitalised against his will at 17 and was now a fierce autodidact; she was a famous writer who had come to London as grandee from Oxford to teach philosophy to a wilder bunch of students than she had ever encountered before. But their friendship was to endure for more than thirty years. A deep mutual affection transcended both the liberties and confines that the 1960s imposed on them: they loved art, literature and words; she was seduced by his charm, touched by his vulnerability, and encouraged the best in him; he was flattered by her attention, intrigued by her brilliance, and relished her fascination for him. This painful, funny and irreverent account of their friendship vacillates between disrespect and homage, between hilarity and tears, and between love and rage on both sides. It is not only a story about two remarkable individuals; it is about the bohemian London of the 1960s, and also a story about how art is made. For Morgan’s reminiscences covertly reveal how far Murdoch was aware that her most intimate relationships would inevitably inform her art. When linked with her novels they provide a unique insight into how she wrought it out of truthful human experience without betraying those she loved. Interest in revelations about the life of any writer can only be justified by the light they shed on art and its creators and this fresh invitation into the hidden recesses of Iris Murdoch’s life will enable a better insight into the writer herself, her novels and, most importantly, the mind that shaped them.

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Author: David Morgan

Paperback: 176 pages

ISBN-10: 1899999426

ISBN-13: 978-1899999422

Dimensions: 13.9 x 0.2 x 21.5 cm

Publisher: Kingston University Press; First Edition (8 Mar. 2010)

Language: English